Current ADP: 20
There are many places you can put the blame for Gurley’s drop in production last season. Certainly Gurley looked like he had less burst, the offensive line struggled, and Goff was a rookie that had never even taken a snap from under center. Goff has more experience now, the offensive line has been reworked, and the team brought in an offensive minded head coach. All reasons to be optimistic for a return to the form we saw Gurley have his rookie season when he cracked 120 yards in 5 of 12 starts.
Current ADP: 34
Terrelle Pryor’s stock has never been higher. He’s at 34 and is trending towards being a low 2nd, high 3rd round pick by the time draft season really heats up. I get the hype, there were a ton of targets and yards that left Washington with Garcon and Jackson, but we can’t assume Pryor is going to get the majority of those. In fact, I think Crowder will lead the Redskins in targets, with Reed second, and Pryor third. The most common argument is that he will take of the Desean Jackson role and stretch the field for the Redskins, but Jackson hasn’t been the Redskins leading receiver since 2014, and even then his numbers were just 54/1,169/6. If you are expecting Pryor to produce WR1 numbers, or be worthy of a 2nd round pick, he’s going to need to boom much bigger than Jackson was ever able to in this offense.
Current ADP: 36
It takes some guts to draft a third string rookie with the 36th pick of a fantasy draft. Especially one that wasn’t even the starter on his own team. Mixon certainly has the upside you look for in a boom or bust pick… not a lot of running backs can make the play below. That being said, the Bengals have two veteran backs that he not only has to supplant, but has to keep off the field enough to get him enough touches to be worthy of the 36th pick. If he is able to win the job and become the 3 down back Cincinnati fans hope he is, he will certain produce big time numbers.
Current ADP: 40
Another boom-or-bust pick that could also be considered a bounce back pick. Robinson is going to have a massive role in the Jags passing attack once again in 2017. The team lost Julius Thomas and Marqise Lee without replacing either player. Those targets are going somewhere, and while Rashad Greene will likely see an increased role, I am willing to bet that Robinson sees the lion’s share of them. In limited playing time in the 2nd preseason game he was targeted 10 times, including targets in the red zone. If one of the quarterbacks is able to figure it out, he will return to his 2015 form.
Current ADP: 45
Sean McVay is going to have the Rams offense (and Jared Goff) big league improved in 2017, and Watkins and Gurley may become the Bell/BRown of the NFC if that is the cas. The fantasy world either has forgotten just how insanely good Watkins is, or is aware that he was statistically the best deep ball pass catcher in history through his first two seasons in the NFL but assumes that makes him a one trick pony. This guy can run the full route tree, and will do excel at McVay asks of him in this offense. Or he could reinjure his foot and drive you insane all season again.
Current ADP: 57
Not a lot to be said here. If he smokes he’s a bust. If he doesn’t he’s a top 20 receiver. All signs point towards us possible getting a full season of Martavis Bryant, which is pretty scary to even think about. This guy scores touchdowns at will.
Current ADP: 61
This another guy who’s stock is going to continue to slip if he can’t get on the field this preseason. If you are drafting without getting some sort of feel for what his role is going to be, godspeed. All we have been able to get out of Belichick since signing Gillislee is that they want to have multiple guys that can play all 3 downs. So from that can we decipher that the idea of Gillislee being the early down back and either Lewis or White being the 3rd down back is dead? If he does somehow become the guy in New England, he’s likely a top 10 back this season.
Current ADP: 72
Abdullah flashed his potential in the one game we saw him last season, and then flashed it again on the one or two plays we saw him so far this preseason. He’s a guy that has insane burst, quickness, and vision, and plays in one of the more explosive offenses in the NFL. He was limited by his role, and a horrible offensive line his rookie season, and then was injured early last season. If he gets a full season in with this rebuilt offensive line and Jim Bob Cooter at offensive coordinator, the potential upside is much, much higher than ADP 72.
Current ADP: 85
The next two picks are guys that have significant opportunities to cash in on the injuries that have marred the Ravens offseason. Without Dennis Pitta, Steve Smith, and Kenneth Dixon, there is over 250 targets that have not been accounted for in this offense. More specifically, those were three guys Flacco looked to in the possession and 3rd and short/medium passing game. While West isn’t a slouch as a pass catcher, Woodhead is proven commodity that should play a crucial role in moving the chains for the Ravens. That being said, I think he holds little value as a runner here, so he’s going to have to really be active as a pass catcher to be a true boom pick.
Current ADP: 103
Baltimore confirming that Maclin will work out of the slot this season is the best news for fantasy owners looking to draft him in PPR leagues. Out of the slot he has a chance to absorb more of the Steve Smith and Dennis Pitta targets that are up for grabs. Perriman and Wallace are both legitimate down field big play threats on the outside, which should mean a lot of man coverage against nickel corners for Maclin. Don’t forget this is a guy that put up 87/1,100/8 just two seasons ago, and he is still only 29 years old. I would definitely take a shot on Maclin over guys like Meredith, Parker, and Decker.
Current ADP: 111
There is a reason Davis was the number one overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. At 6’3″ with 4.4 speed and crazy ability to high point balls, he’s a physical freak. What makes Davis special is that he has the ability to play a role in Tennessee’s short and deep passing game. He proved throughout his college career that he can run every route in the passing tree, can take a slant or screen to the house, beat cover two over the top, and is unstoppable in the red zone. However, he hasn’t been healthy through camp and could lose snaps to Eric Decker and Rishard Matthews if he continues to miss time.
Current ADP: 143
Marvin Jones showed us exactly what boom or bust is last season. He was the top fantasy receiver in football through the first third of the season, but then the production just disappeared. It was a combination of several things that cost Jones the second half of his season. First,
Detroit suffered substantial injuries to the offensive line, and Stafford simply didn’t have time to allow down field routes to develop. With a completely rebuilt offensive line, and another offseason in the Jim Bob Cooter system, will Jones be able to give us a full season of the potential we got a glimpse of early last year?
Current ADP: 167
This is the classic boom-or-bust pick, the talent is obvious, the opportunity to play a big role is there, but we just haven’t seen him do it at this level. We all know the athletic freak White is, he dominated college football, is 6’3″ and ran a 4.3 second 40. He has the potential to be the Bears top receiver, and best big play threat, or to lose his starting job altogether.
Current ADP: 170
The Dolphins are clearly loving the upside Julius Thomas brings, promising that he will be the focal point of their red zone offense. Let’s also not forget who the play caller was in Denver when Thomas was the top tight end in the NFL. Currently being drafted outside of the top 20 tight ends, Thomas is a boom pick if he can even somewhat gain back that form we saw in Denver.
Current ADP: 194
Anderson is more of a sleeper than a boom-or-bust pick, but there is certainly the opportunity for a boom here. His offensive coordinator, John Morton, was the Saints receiver coach for the past 2 seasons, and is in the process of putting in Sean Payton’s system. If anyone can get the most out of the Jets thin receiver core, Morton is likely the guy. Anderson caught all three of his targets for 71 yards in the opener, and the Jets first string offense didn’t look as terrible as we expected. It’s rare to be able to get a number one receiver in the final round of your fantasy draft.